“Feierabend” is an important part of the New Zealand half of our life – important enough to have her own pages. They are, of course, a “work in progress”, to be developed both backwards and forward.
Backwards, as I sift through old photos to find those that track her transformation from a “bus-bus” to a “house-bus”. That will take a wet day or two. Forwards as I add new adventures along the way.
But first … her name.
The manufacturers, and the vehicle registration system etc know her as a Mitsubishi Rosa, built in 1986.
To us, she’s Feierabend. “Translation please?” you ask. Sorry, it’s one of those words which doesn’t have (but should have!) a direct equivalent in English. The literal translation means “to celebrate the evening”. Let me give you the context, and you’ll know exactly what it means. Imagine: the end of the working day, you sit down and put your feet up, you pick up a glass of something cool, and heave a satisfied sigh…. The toast (at least in our part of Switzerland) is “Feierabend!”.
Work done – relaxation starts … so, we thought, the perfect name for a house-bus!
It has a side-benefit too – Swiss and German tourists in camping grounds across New Zealand have been seen to burst into a huge smile and rush across to say hello (“Gruetzi”, “Guten Tag” and variants.…). We even had a couple on a pedestrian crossing pause in front of us to pose for a photo!
I really have been trying to think about the English equivalent for “Feierabend”. “Knock-off time” doesn’t have the same sense of celebration and anticipation, neither does “down tools”. Is there something else that you use, with that same sense as “end of work, start of relaxation, with a suitably celebratory feeling”? I promise I’ll cite you!